Reviewing Tablets for Business Part 1 – Criteria and contenders

“I need a tablet to do my job” is what I am told every day in many ways. Yes tablets are revolutinizing how and where people work. They take the great things from smart phones and make it easier to read. However, as an IT Manager there is more to it then hey here you go, have fun. THis is true, especially if you want to ensure you are fully HIPPA and PCI complaint, without using technologies like Citrix and VDI.

Since the place I work at is continually going through compliance iniatives and not yet rolling out VDI, Securing tablets is key. From a personel standpoint, most employees are hourly and their managers need to make sure they are spending their time working and not playing games. Since we try hard to standardize all of our locations to be the same, look the same and operate the same, we try to ensure our technology follows suit.

There are four main things we look for in a tablet:

1. Antivirus (and anti malware)
2. Local firewall ( or at least locked down so no ports are open)
3. Full disk encryption
4. Ability to lock tablet down to a few key applications

In looking through all available tablets three players came to mind. Over the next few weeks we will be perofrming comprehensive reviews on the Lenovo thinkpad tablet and the Cisco Cius. Obviously we will compre this to the industry leader, the iPad. In the effort of full disclosure, I am currently typing this on the Lenovo thinkpad tablet, and I have my iPad and iPad 2 sitting beside me.

Where I got/am getting the tablets:

1. The iPad 2 was a gift from a relative
2. The iPad was purchased by my employer for me to use
3. The Lenovo thinkpad tablet was purchased by my employer for evaluation purposes
4. The Cisco Cius is also at my emplyoers for evaluation. ( I am not sure if it was given, borrowed or purchased from Cisco)

Evaluation criteria is the four main key points above and genreal impressions on usability, form factor, cost and optonal accessories. Other key notes will be provided.

If you think of another tablet I should be looking at, please let me know.


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